How Influencer Marketing Can Ramp Up Food Brands
Food and beverage brands, whether for food products, supermarkets, or chefs and restaurants, are within a thriving industry. Most people enjoy food and search for innovative ways to bring more delicious or healthy options in their diets.
Related: Top influencer marketing agencies
The food industry is also a pillar of modern life and a source of social events for people, whether it’s for holidays, important life milestones, or work and friend get-togethers.
From an influencer perspective, a quality content creator can elevate a food brand and bring it to life by stimulating the senses with stunning visuals and short-form video content on online platforms. This is part of the same formula that makes content go viral, especially when you factor in the community and cultural aspects of food and dining.
Influencer Marketing and the Food Industry
Social media moved from interactions with friends to a source of shopping and purchasing inspiration. While social media users spend time keeping up with friends and family, they also follow their favorite brands and use the information to make purchase decisions.
In addition, social media can be used to inspire and shape a lifestyle – and a lot of that is food-related. The food industry is already visual, and a well-developed brand partnership can illuminate the benefits of a food brand and creative cooking. Imagine this from an influencer with thousands or even millions of followers.
Influencer Marketing Ideas for Food Brands
There are a myriad of ways to engage with food and beverage products that serve a brand’s campaign goals. Here are a few ideas to get started with an influencer marketing campaign.
An influencer can create video content of them preparing food from ingredient shopping, prepping, and measuring to mixing, cooking, and serving. Snippets can be spliced together for short-form content that’s easily digestible on TikTok, Reels, or YouTube Shorts.
Story videos are highly engaging and are an easy way to create content in real time as the food is being prepared.
This is similar to video content but without the ability to edit and adjust as needed. Live streamed content offers high levels of engagement and awareness.
High-Quality Foodie Photography
Whether the brand is a restaurant or a home cooked product, everyone loves a well-executed foodie experience. Colorful and thoughtful arrangement of food and beverages entices viewers to recreate the display in their own home or to try it for themselves.
Pinterest works like a search engine. Users go there to search for specific content and find helpful resources. Influencers active on Pinterest can create a board designed for recipes and meals that include the brand’s products.
Celebrity Food Influencers
Cooking shows are popular on television and chefs have reached a new level of celebrity. With YouTube and its video capabilities, celebrities like Jamie Oliver and Amaury Guichon have built a following to share recipes, creation videos, and favorite products.
Many of the food celebrities on social media are macro-influencers with millions of followers, but you’ll see numerous micro-influencers with niche followings that are extremely loyal and trusting of their recommendations. Both of these types of influencers can recommend food brands and kitchenware to incorporate into their recipes – and their followers listen.
When these influencers are successful, they can create strong brand partnerships and affiliations that can skyrocket both parties to fame.
Pioneers in Food Brand and Influencer Partnerships
At HireInfluence, we’ve had the privilege of working with top brands in the food and beverage industry. Here’s how it went!
McDonald’s and Oreo
Thanks to its international presence, most people in the world are familiar with McDonald’s and Oreo. These brands aren’t resting on their laurels, however. Instead, it’s working on building organic influencer campaigns to boost brand awareness and take them to the next level with their target audience.
One of the innovative tactics McDonald’s is using tells the stories behind real McDonald’s customers. This takes the meal from basic sustenance to a shared experience between family members and friends.
User-generated content is a huge help for the famous brands like Mcdonal’s and Oreo. The Instagram account features stunning, mouth-watering visuals that incorporate a little pop culture to connect with its audience.
Oreo also uses influencer marketing to bring its product to life. By featuring your product, content creators plan thorough content and short-form videos that show the authenticity and nostalgia of the brand, as well as its relationship with customers.
These two food mega brands came together to produce the Oreo Shamrock shake. We launched the #OREOShamROCKout influencer marketing campaign to showcase their limited-time offer. The results were millions of impressions and just under 300k engagements with three talented influencers.
Community Coffee is a niche coffee label that set out to rebrand and launch a new product. They needed a powerful strategy in place before a Chicago event that would drive awareness and sales in person as well as online.
The HireInfluence team recruited a celebrity-level influencer to give on-site demonstrations at the live event and engage with the audience in attendance. The influencer also leveraged their social media channels to drive engagement and online traffic. The results were over 30 million impressions and over 551k brand engagements.
Bringing Authenticity to Brands
Social media influencers bring a lot to brand partnerships, including a level of authenticity that’s nearly impossible to achieve with traditional advertising. Working with real people brings brands closer to being a real human behind the brand and improving public image, taking the edge off the promotional aspect. People are attracted to the content, but it’s not salesy, pushy, or intrusive.
According to research, an Instagram influencer in the food industry can boost engagement rates by 7.38 percent. With just in-house advertising, a brand falls about five times short of that. Influencers also get a lot of likes, comments, and other types of engagement, generating a better return on investment for the marketing campaign.
Types of Food Influencers and Influencer Marketing Trend
Generally known as “foodies,” food influencers fall in a number of categories.
The first is the mega-influencer, like Jamie Oliver with 9.1 million Instagram followers. These are usually celebrity chefs or critics that bring a lot of fame and awareness to the table, especially among international audiences.
Macro-Influencers have more than 100k followers but less than 1 million, like Headbanger’s Kitchen. These influencers have a wide-reaching audience and are well-suited to an awareness and engagement-driven campaign.
Source: Headbanger’s Kitchen
Micro-influencers have a smaller following than macro-influencers and typically have more of a niche, but they can be just as valuable. Mikyla from Flax and Sugar is a great example of a micro foodie influencer with 6,797 Instagram followers. The audiences are extremely targeted and they have a lot of persuasion and trust with their followers.
There’s also a subset of micro-influencers that include food, but aren’t entirely focused on food. Content creators in travel, entertainment, lifestyle, or beauty may also cross into the foodie genre. Consider a travel influencer sharing information about the local cuisine or shopping at a gourmet market, like GirlEatWorld.
With any of these influencers, it comes down to budget and audience. Sponsored posts, branded content, brand mentions, and ambassador programs on a social media platform can be effective with the right audience overlap, even if it’s only a small audience. Choosing the right influencer is paramount to a campaign’s success.
If the audience trusts the influencer, a review or testimonial of a product can go a long way in influencing the purchase decision the next time the viewer is shopping for groceries.
Food and Beverage Brand Influencers are Making Their Mark
Influencer marketing for food is among the most valuable assets for the food industry and food brands. Whether macro-influencers and celebrity chefs or micro-influencers in the niche food, travel, or lifestyle industry, food brands of all kinds can partner with influencers and leverage influencer marketing strategy to differentiate themselves and reach new audiences.